A new water-conservation message has been invented for a national public service campaign launched last week. The message is this: “Wasting water is weird.”
Three public service announcements, which need little explanation from me, were created by the Shelton Group, an advertising and marketing company specializing in sustainability issues.
In addition to the one at right, there are these:
A survey by the agency reportedly found that 69 percent of Americans believe it is important to personally reduce water consumption, but fewer than half have given up tub baths or are taking shorter showers.
Suzanne Shelton, who heads the Shelton Group, said human psychology shows that, when it comes to conservation, “don’t waste” messages affect people more than “save” messages. Getting through to people on an emotional level is a goal of the campaign. Shelton explains further:
“Our consumer surveys show Americans talk a good game about water conservation but take very little action. We’ve found you cannot just tell people they have to stop using water or try to put a positive spin on making a sacrifice. And guilting them into making a change by throwing dire realities at them doesn’t work. This campaign helps consumers make the shift from an automatic behavior to a conscious choice.”
The weird character in the videos is named Rip the Drip. The actor is not identified. But who would want this guy popping up and becoming your friend when you let the water run too long?
The campaign, sponsored by Bosch, Kohler, Lowe’s and Proctor and Gamble, is affiliated with a new website that contains conservation information, as well as screen savers and ring tones featuring Rip the Drip.